Wednesday, December 10, 2003

a cheerful sort of lunchtime post

"Everybody's good at doing something, and I'm good at cooking crumble," sang Lorraine Bowen, in her world famous "Crumble Song", and it occurred to me at some point yesterday that I had never made a crumble in my whole life, and when you're 43 and you've never made a crumble you should do something to remedy that, especially when the alternative is doing some actual writing.

So I took an enormous Bramley cooking apple (why don't they have cooking apples in the US? It was more or less the same size and shape as a small cauliflower, and more sour than any eating apple and perfect for cooking), peeled it and cut it into chunks; four or five plums, which I cut up and de-stoned; some crushed nuts; and a few currants (the small black raisins, not the ribes). I put the fruit in a baking dish, and sprinkled a little cinnamon on. Then I put some flour (about two cups) into a mixing bowl (I used a gluten-free kind I found in the pantry, but as far as I can see most kinds would work) along with about cup of sugar, and a pinch of salt. And some oats. Then I creamed a largish lump of butter into the flour and sugar mixture, worked it in with a spoon until it was all absorbed, and then poured the crumble mixture over the fruit. Then I put it in the not-quite-as-hot-as-the-very-hot oven in the Aga until it looked done, and the top was brown, whereupon I put it into the warming oven for a while, faintly worried about the fact that I'd done the quantities for the topping by eye and not by measuring anything out. It tasted wonderful, though, and even better cold for breakfast this morning.

And for those of you who would rather have a recipe, and a link to the Lorraine Bowen song, I have googled and found

Crumbles, I discovered, don't actually take that long to make, so I still got a lot of actual writing done, and also did most of the lettering draft for Todd Klein of 1602 #6. (I'm rewriting the first four pages a little, to give more information to the reader than I did in the first draft.)

The phone repair man arrived early this morning, chipper and confident that he could sort out whatever the problem was in a hurry and with ease. As the day has gone on I've noticed him and his van moving slowly back down the lane, from telephone pole to telephone pole, looking rather more frustrated with each pole. He's now about half a mile away, and looked very depressed when I drove past.